Summary: Is the full deity and humanity of Jesus simply an item of academic theology, or does it give human faith and redemption meaning?
Illus: I was about 10 years old at the time. My mother had been remarried for about a year and a half. Both she and my step-father worked, and it was summer. We children needed a baby-sitter. So my step-father arranged for his mother to sit us~~our Aunt Betty. I know what some of you are wondering. Step-father’s mother...your ’Aunt Betty?’ Wouldn’t she be your step=grandma? You’d think so, but Aunt Betty kinda thought otherwise. You see, she didn’t want us calling her grandma. Was it because you were step children? No, not at all. Aunt Betty had an age hang up. She didn’t want people to think that she had a grandchild that was as old as I was. And in truth, it went way back before me. When my step-father was a teen (he was largely raised by his grandparents because Aunt Betty had been married 5 or 6 different times), at public gatherings Aunt Betty made my step-father call her ’sis’ instead of mom! She didn’t want all the available men knowing that she had a teen age son. Ol’ Aunt Betty had an age hang up. Well, back to our story. With Aunt Betty was her youngest child, Todd. Todd was a year younger than I was and her most beloved child; in her eyes, he could do no wrong. And while we played together well for the most part, he was indeed quite troublesome. I remember that one day, he quite cruelly provoked me, and to keep me from pummelling him, I pushed him out of my face. Well, Aunt Betty saw this. And the way she jumped all over me, you’d have thought that she was a Grizzly Bear and I was attacking one of her cubs. When she finally stopped her endless tirade against me, I protested. ’Look,’ I said, ’He started it! It’s HIS fault!’ And Todd never denied it. But I’ll never forget what she said to me. She looked me straight in the eye and said, ’I don’t care!’ She was gonna take her precious son’s side no matter how wrong he was. It was then and there that I learned how hard it is for people to be impartial and objective. As a side note, you might be interested to know that at a huge public gathering just a few weeks later, I called her Grandma Betty...accidently, of course.
--But it is hard for us to be objective and unbiased. In fact, it is quite natural for us to be totally disposed to our own position, reality and perspectives. It is natural to be personally biased.
--With this reality in mind, how is it that an all holy God is able to connect with and understand sinful man? How can finite man truly connect with an infinite God?
--Our 1st text is quintessential for our subject matter today~~Jesus as Mediator: 1 Tim. 2:3-7.
--That word ’mediator’ is actually a bit rare in the NT. It is used only 6 times in the entire NT, and its use in our text is a bit...emphatic. More so than the other occurances.
--2 of the 6 occurances are found in Gal. 3:19-20 (read text). Here it carries the idea simply of a representative: One who does represent both sides. Our passage has that idea as well, only with a bit more depth and substance.
--3 times the word is used in Hebrews, and it is used consistently the same way. Heb. 8:6 is a good example of how it’s used (read text). Here it is a contractual term. The ’mediator’ is actually more like a ’guarantor.’ He is one who legally secures and validates the covenant or contractual agreement. In Hebrews, many think that the word should be translated ’guarantor.’
--But the word in 1 Tim is actually the most graphic use and the most faithful to the full meaning of the word. Here the idea is more than just a ’representative,’ but of a ’go-between, a true mediator.’ One who brings peace to a severed relationship.
--Two parties are at odds, at war. Someone must bring them together. Someone must bridge the gap. Someone must reestablish peace. Who is that someone? The Mediator.
--And what enables Jesus to be a truly effective mediator? He has both natures of the parties involved! He understands both parties and does so experientially!
--We all want, even need to be understood, don’t we. Sadly, that isn’t always possible or attainable.
--Illus: I heard a story. Years ago at construction sites, they would mark the work site with smudge pots. In them burned open flames, and they burned hotter than normal. One day, a wife and her little girl visited the work site to see dad/husband and bring him his lunch. Accidently, the little girl’s pant legs caught fire with the smudge pots and burned like straw. The result was surgery and terrible scarring all over her legs. When she was older, she was asked by a teacher in a class room assignment, ’If you could have one wish, what would it be?’ Her answer, ’I wish everyone had legs just like mine.’ What was she asking for? Many things, but she wanted understanding. I want people to know my pain...walk in my shoes...I want them understand me, I want empathy.